As Willie Nelson famously put it, being on the road is a source of freedom and enjoyment for many people. More than this though, having a licence is crucial for people in rural and regional areas, given the tyranny of distance and lack of public transport alternatives.
Despite the importance of a drivers licence, many people lose it for significant periods of time due to poor behaviour on the roads. Previous legislation in this area meant that any driver who committed three relevant offences within a five year period could be declared a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). The effect of HTO declaration was that the Roads and Maritime Services would impose a further five-year licence disqualification on top of any disqualification imposed by the court.
Although the HTO scheme has been abolished since 2017, under the Road Transport Amendment (Driver Licence Disqualification) Act 2017 (NSW), there are many people who still have years, if not decades of licence disqualification to serve under the old scheme.
All is not lost however, as applications can be made to the Court to quash old HTO declarations under clause 65 of schedule 4 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).
Such an application will be successful only if:
• a certified copy of the person’s driving record is provided to the Court;
• the offender has served the minimum disqualification period (two or four years depending on the offence);
• the offender has not been convicted of any further serious driving offences; and
• the magistrate determines that “the disqualification imposed by the declaration is a disproportionate and unjust consequence having regard to the total driving record of the person in the special circumstances of the case”.
If you require assistance in relation to licence disqualification or other traffic matters, our team of experienced solicitors at Everingham Solomons can assist you because Helping You is Our Business.
Click here for more information on Dan Daley.